Don’t dream it’s over for Crowded House

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CROWDED HOUSE Intriguer (Fantasy)

Neil Finn makes it clear with Intriguer that the brand he revived in 2007 after a 14-year layoff from recording will be around for awhile. The group that Colorado radio fans know primarily for the mid-’80s hits “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong” has aged well, thanks to the strength of Finn’s songwriting and pop-rock sensibility.

In another era perhaps, leadoff track “Saturday Sun” would have been an instant hit, a melodic, hard-driving slice of pop with cryptic lyrics that bears repeated listening. The wash of guitars and keyboards sound contemporary yet still grounded in the band’s trademark sound.

Finn’s penchant for bittersweet songs — melancholy laced with a dash of hope — shines through on “Archer’s Arrows” and “Other Side of the World.” While there’s nothing as rocking as the band’s ’90s hit “Locked Out,” Crowded House turns up the amps a bit for the mid-tempo rocker “Inside Out.”

Finn never really went away – he recorded solo albums and collaborated with his brother, Tim, during the years the Crowded House shop was closed – but he sounds as sure of his art as ever here.

Crowded House performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fillmore Auditorium. Tickets, including service fees, are $52.
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